Clearlink provides two main product offerings for our brand partners: sales and marketing. Despite the clear strategic connection between the two divisions, sales and marketing teams are often treated as separate, unrelated entities throughout the industry.
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For example, except for leadership trifecta meetings, our marketing team had very little interaction with our sales agents for many years. This disconnect created some issues with the way our marketing team created content for online users—and an amazing opportunity to bridge the gap and remove the silos between these groups of people.
If you can bridge the gap between sales and marketing, you can create easier, faster, and more engaging websites for your customers. Here’s one way Clearlink has done just that.
Everyone’s in Sales is a learning and development intervention created by Clearlink’s employee development team. During the program, marketing employees work with call center employees to take calls for half a day. The program has three main goals:
- Understand Clearlink’s sales process and goals
- Identify ways that the marketing teams influence the sales employees ability to sell
- Understand how Clearlink makes money
Our employee development team hypothesized that if we could bridge the gap between sales and marketing, we could create easier, faster, and more engaging websites for customers.
And we were right.
Here are three improvements we have observed over the course of implementing this program.
1. Remove Silos to Improve Product Sales
The first and most obvious benefit we recognized after hosting these events was that we were removing silos between marketing and sales. Our marketers are part of many different functional teams that keep them busy with tasks, goals, and KPIs. These teams are wonderful at creating unity, but they can also create silos that make it hard for marketers to imagine a world outside their immediate responsibilities.
When marketers have limited interaction with sales agents, it’s easy for them to remain oblivious to the important role that sales plays in the company’s overall strategy and success. Giving marketers the opportunity to learn about and appreciate how sales agents help Clearlink meet its goals—and how their work affects the sales agents’ jobs and vice versa—improves empathy and collaboration across the departments, which in turn helps us better meet our individual and company goals.
“It was cool to see how the sales center functioned and did cross sales or counter sales if necessary. I also enjoyed seeing how PPC plays a part in sales.”
Every good marketer knows they need to keep the end goal in mind when developing marketing campaigns: the sale of a product. There is no better reality check than to leave your marketing silos behind and learn to appreciate the struggles of the sales force to determine whether you are successfully managing and meeting those goals. For example, a member of our PPC (paid search) team might learn from a call that the ads they have been writing are actually resulting in customer service calls rather than sales. This kind of firsthand information has been invaluable for our marketers.
2. Understand P&L Statements and Revenue Goals Better
We think it is essential that every Clearlinker understand how the marketing, operations, and sales funnels work together to drive calls to our center and how that translates into revenue, expenses, and gross profit. One of the main goals of our program, therefore, was to help marketers better comprehend how our company makes money.
“Everyone’s in Sales helped me grasp the bigger picture of Clearlink, both in how we make money and how we work together as a team.”
Depending on their role, many marketers do not get a lot of face time with the company’s profit and loss statement. This can lead to the misconception that marketing makes Clearlink money when that department is actually one of our largest costs. To help remedy that lack of awareness, a sales leader talks to every group participating in the Everyone’s in Sales program about the P&L in six different areas to help individuals better recognize how the business works.
Clearlink employees who haven’t been through the program and who don’t interact with the P&L statement on a regular basis miss out on a larger perspective of the true goals of our company and how their role can more effectively drive key results.
3. Gain Marketing Insight
On the surface, the Everyone’s in Sales program focuses on helping marketers understand sales better, but it also helps them gain a deeper understanding of their own roles and the minds of their customers.
The empathy and understanding marketers gain from participating in the sales experience helps them center users’ needs and perspectives in ways few other experiences can.
When designers sit on the phones with sales agents, they can learn to see what our customers are seeing—and then we can build CTAs in more effective places. If our copy team can empathize with how people interpret the words on our site when they call into our center, then they can begin to write more effective copy for them. If paid search specialists can acknowledge the way consumers view our ads, they can work to make them more compelling.
Every single team can benefit from listening to calls in our sales center and translating them back to their day-to-day work. We view the Everyone’s in Sales program as an essential part of teaching our employees to create intelligent customer experiences for all of our customers. The empathy and understanding they gain from this experience helps them center the user’s needs and perspectives in ways few other experiences can.
Sales Insights: The Secret to Great Marketing
Many marketers do not have the luxury of being able to hear their customers’ experiences firsthand. Clearlink’s call center is an integral part of our strategy for getting real-time feedback about the work that we produce. Customer-centric insights are the best way to learn what your customers want and need—and create the maximum possible ROI on your marketing efforts.
To learn more about how Clearlink approaches sales, read about our intelligent sales solutions.